WW2 Douglas Dauntless plane recovered from lake Michigan

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WW2 Douglas Dauntless plane recovered from lake Michigan

A dive bomber that had ditched in Lake Michigan on a training run in 1944 was brought to land Friday for restoration in Florida for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

The Douglas SBD Dauntless lifted from the water Friday to a pier in Waukegan, Ill., is among 130 to 300 or more planes estimated to have sunk in the lake during training late in World War II.

The Naval Historical Center (NHC), in cooperation with the National Museum of Naval Aviation and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) conducted a preliminary archaeological and historical documentation of the aircraft. Research shows that BuNo 2106 is an aircraft that is not only rare, but also possesses unusual historical significance.

Of the 87 SBD-2 models built known by Douglas, this is the only model that presently survives intact for study. The wrecks of four others, BuNos 2111, 2117, 2183, and an unidentified SBD-2, still remain in Lake Michigan. In terms of historical interpretation, BuNo 2106's significance transcends its rarity as a model. The aircraft was initially assigned to Bombing Squadron TWO (VB-2), assigned to one 4 of the Navy=s first aircraft carriers, the Lexington (CV-2). BuNo 2106 operated from Lexington wearing the side code 2-B-2 during most of 1941 and early 1942.

An important exception in this timeline was a Lexington cruise, in which the Dauntless was left at Naval Air Station (NAS) Ford Island, Territory Hawaii on 5 December 1941, to repair engine damage incurred during the 1941 Army-Navy General Headquarters (GHQ) maneuvers in Louisiana. As a result, this aircraft was present for, and survived, the Imperial Japanese Navy's devastating carrier-based raid on the U. S. Navy Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.

After the attack BuNo 2106 rejoined Lexington with a new powerplant on 12 December 1941. While still with Lexington, BuNo 2106 participated in early Pacific Fleet wartime operations, including the 10 March 1942 transmontane Lae-Salamaua Raid. During the raid, LT (jg) Mark Twain Whittier and radioman gunner ARM2 Forest G. Stanley flew BuNo 2106. Whittier received a Navy Cross for his actions in this engagement.

When Lexington sailed for the South Pacific in late April 1941, BuNo 2106 again remained behind at Pearl Harbor=s aircraft pool, this time for reassignment. It was a fortuitous occurrence for BuNo 2106, as Lexington never returned, lost in the Battle of the Coral Sea, along with all but five of the Dauntlesses assigned to its VB-2 squadron. 1 Instead of suffering a similar fate, BuNo 2106 was carried to Midway Island in May for the purpose of strengthening the U.S. Marine Corps' Scout Bombing Squadron TWO FORTY ONE (VMSB-241) in preparation for the Japanese offensive that Naval intelligence agencies were anticipating.

On 4 June this Dauntless, wearing the side code of 6, an abbreviated form of 241-MSB-6, and manned by 1stLT Daniel Iverson, Jr., pilot, and PFC Wallace J. Reid, radioman-gunner, participated in the decisive Battle of Midway. BuNo 2106 survived the costly Marine attack on the Japanese 5 aircraft carrier Hiryu that cost VMSB-241 half its Dauntlesses.

This engagement resulted in both Iverson and Reid being wounded in action, and BuNo 2106 collecting at least 210, perhaps as many as 259, holes in its airframe from projectiles, as well as suffering further damage upon its return and crash landing on Midway. The Navy awarded Iverson with the Navy Cross and Reid with the Distinguished Flying Cross for their heroism during the mission.

Following Midway, BuNo 2106 underwent a complete overhaul and was sent to the Carrier Qualification Training Unit (CQTU) at NAS Glenview, Illinois. On 11 June 1943, while being flown by 2ndLT Donald A. Douglas, Jr. USMCR, during a routine carrier landing qualification flight, the aircraft stalled and spun into Lake Michigan. The Dauntless came to rest in 170 feet of cold, fresh water where it remained until its recovery 50 years later.

More: http://www.midwaysaircraft....


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By netchicken: posted on 25-4-2009

:sh they should find that flight of TBM Avenger Torpedo Bombers that ditched into the bramuda triangle. flight 19. there was a search for them a few years ago but they found the same type of planes but it wasnt the right ones. i wonder what happened to them to make them crash?
By tastycakes: posted on 30-4-2009

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